Azerbaijani forces have used munitions containing internationally prohibited white phosphor in a number of attacks on the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia announced on October 31.
“This is a gross violation of the international humanitarian law, norms and the principles of customary law, the Geneva Conventions, aiming not only to harm the Defense Army but also create an environmental disaster,” the ministry said in a brief statement.
The Armenian MoD and several media sources shared videos confirming the use of incendiary munitions, which may have contained white phosphor, by Azerbaijani forces.
The #Azerbaijani forces indiscriminately used prohibited phosphorous munitions containing elements of chemical weapons in the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict zone, which is a gross violation of IHL, Customary Law, GCs, and relevant UN conventions and docs and contsitutes war crimes. pic.twitter.com/F8Q69Jq7kj
— Shushan Stepanyan (@ShStepanyan) October 31, 2020
A few people pointed this out to me, but the video looks more like MLRS rockets with incendiary munitions, possibly BM-21 Grad MLRS 9M22S rounds, than WP. This video is from Ilovaisk in Ukraine on August 14, 2014 showing 9M22S rounds.https://t.co/i9Po20UXFo https://t.co/ESk8Gb2dT9 pic.twitter.com/DkYcsApQVM
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) October 30, 2020
The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons prohibits the deliberate use of incendiary weapons against civilian or against military targets in civilian areas.
This type of munition is highly flammable and provokes the spread of forest fires.
The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan called the Armenian claims “groundless.” In a statement the ministry stressed that the Azerbaijani military does not possess weapons which are prohibited by international laws.
The statements by Armenia about the alleged use of phosphorus munitions by the Azerbaijan Army are groundless.
Azerbaijan Army does not have weapons and ammunition in the armament that are prohibited by international law.
— Azerbaijan MOD (@wwwmodgovaz) October 31, 2020
Azerbaijan launched a large attack to capture Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27 with support from Turkey. Since then, a fierce battle has been ongoing in the region.
The use of incendiary weapons, and possibly white phosphor munitions, by Azerbaijani forces indicates that Baku is determined to do whatever it takes to push Armenian forces out of the disputed region.
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